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Us 25, South Florida 15, United States 12, Port-au-prince 11, Miami 10, Rick 8, U.s. 5, Preval 4, Cnn 3, Papa Doc 3, Sanjay Gupta 3, Charlie Crist 2, Chris Lawrence 2, Obama 2, George Lemieux 2, The Navy 2, Emilio Estefan 2, Gloria 2, Cuba 2, Susan Candiotti 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. New.  

    January 13, 2010
    3:00 - 3:59pm EST  

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with her kids and that it is buildings have just started collapsing. there's 4 million haitians that are outside of haiti. so i think this is the time for the dia spora, the haitians that are outside of haiti to step up and call their councilmen and say we need a state of emergency for the country. as we sit here right now there are people in the dark with the dead and we won't know what happens until the morning. so my urgency right now is really a cry of freedom saying we really need a state of emergency, like, right now. >> so here's how you can help the victims of haiti's earth quake. logon to cnn point com/impacts. i'm fredericka whitfield. more in the newsroom up next with rick sanchez. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> hello again, everybody. we're expecting there will be a lot of news coming your way. you're paying attention to the
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news so you know that the national conversation today is focused on one nation, one sudden natural disaster an now millions of people are homeless, maybe hundreds of thousands dead. we say maybe there because those are numbers that have come from a haitian leader, not confirmed because, well, because of the chaos there around port-au-prince right now. it is difficult, if not impossible for us to appreciate how deeply and how profoundly the people of haiti are suffering right now. i want to start with something before we start hooking up with our crews who are there in port-au-prince. i want you to watch this video which tends to -- tends to tell its own story of desperation. >> he's going to flash the light, okay? all right. >> are they alive? >> we need more people down here!
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>> i can't move my -- >> stop! oh! oh! oh! oh! >> you're watching some of the people as they're pulled out of that rubble. those are the lucky ones. some are still underneath the rubble trapped and they're trying to get them out. we've got crews in port-au-prince. anderson cooper is among them. i understand we will shortly be able to go to susan candiotti. you will hear from haitian officials during this hour and you will also hear from governor charlie crist of the state of florida who will join us live as well. chad myers will help us get
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through this hour. he certainly knows as much as anybody about this type of situation. >> right. >> especially the type of earthquake that's taken place. let me read something, this is from "the miami herald." i check my hometown newspaper as we all do, this is the haitian president saying parliament has collapsed. the tax office has collapsed. schools have collapsed, hospitals have collapsed, and this is in it is capital. this is the biggest city there. let me get back to you in just a moment. i understand we have a possibility of getting back into port-au-prince. susan canned yotsy is standing by. susan, are you there? >> i am, rick. i hear you. thank you very much. we had to go up to a mountaintop, one of the many here in order to get a signal out, so over my shoulder you will see some of the thousands of homes that are built into the side was mountains here that these ones that you see over my shoulder, incredibly, were not
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impacted by the earthquake, but as we flew from the dominican republic, from santo domingo into ports awe prince, we began to see it is devastation caused by this earthquake and we saw for one thing, a lot of homes who were imploded and looked as though they had been imploded and then when we finally set down our helicopter at the airport here, we saw cracks in the airport. we saw people teaming outside, lined up, but patiently, without causing any problem, waiting to see whether they could get a commercial flight out. there was no way that was going to happen. but the real impact is when we started to drive through the streets of port-au-prince. in particular, one of the neighborhoods called dolma where our driver told us you will see a lot of death here. in pack, that's exactly what we saw. as we drove block after block, we saw one body, then two, four
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at a time and five lined up block after block after block, each of these covered by sheets and then in an almost chilling scene, you would see people in some instances sitting nearby, some of them with vacant stares in their eyes just sitting in the middle of the street. at times you would see young children walking about as though seeing this horror didn't bother them and you had to wonder is that because this country has suffered so much and through so many natural disasters after so many years that you also saw a sense of people trying to help each other. for example, as we drove up a major thoroughfare, teaming with people, you saw people walking down it is middle was street using a makeshift gurney with someone who was injured, one of the earthquake victims, on top. you saw collapsed buildings one right after the other, pancaked on both homes and businesses, for example, a gas station that had crumbled. we also were able to witness one gas station incredibly that was
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open and had gas and you can imagine what those lines looked like, but this is a country that has suffered yet another blow. almost 3 million people in the city of port-au-prince, the capital city. major damage to the national palace. we have not yet been to any of the hospitals yet, but again, we've heard some of the estimates of numbers of dead and we can only begin to imagine how those numbers will actually add up in the end after seeing just what we did over it is course of just a few hours. rick? >> what a visual script you've just given us, susan, that is maybe one of the best and most comprehensive reportses that i've heard coming out of port-au-prince all day long. let me ask you it is question about port-au-prince itself. given that this earthquake was so close to the capital city, maybe the best way to ask it is this way, what is left of port-au-prince?
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>> reporter: well, the downtown area has suffered a lot of damage and some of the other buildings and homes, obviously, up into the hills, but then you will also see off in the distance areas that seem untouched. as we flew in on the outskirts we didn't see a lot of damage, but we saw several buildings that had been damaged. so how wide spread it is is hard to say on the outskirts, but in the city and we've just begun to look around, it is terrible. it is just terrible and it is heartbreaking to see. >> susan canned yotsy, thank you so much. >> we appreciate you hustling too to gets us that. >> in pack, rick, if i could add as well if you can still hear me, i know that people here -- >> what a shame. we losts her just as -- we'll try to see if we can get susan candiotti back.
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she seemed to have a cav yats she wanted to add to that. the significance of this thing being so close to a pop lated area. we cover this type of disasters a lots, whether they're tornadoes or earth quakes. what are they saying, chad? ten miles from the most pop lated city in the country and only six miles deep. i think that's the key. the key here is that this quake, the rupture that occurred it is slip that occurred in the fault was only six miles into the earth. if we were 200 miles down, you would have 200 miles work of padding. 200 miles work of attenuation. so by it is time it is quake got to the surface it wouldn't have been so sharp. this was a sharp cracking motion at it is surface of the earth. six miles deep and only a few miles from the city so we have a couple of waves. >> go ahead. >> i'm just wondering, who knew there was even a fault line here. i was born in the caribbean. i didn't know that it was as earth quake prone as it apparently is. >> it is called it is enriquillo
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plantation garden zone. >> these islands were all created by this earthquake, correct? >> it is biggest quake was 200 years ago. it is pressure has been building up since the last big quake and it's an inverse relationship, it is more earth quakes you have the smaller they're going to be. it is fewer earth quakes you v it is bigger it is going to be. that is in the central parts of the u.s. when that splits, when, it may be a big one and maybe tens of years, maybe hundreds of years. >> you are so good at explaining these things. >> i'll be here all day. >> stay with us through the hour? >> absolutely. >> here's what else we're going to have. it has been 200 years since haiti has been rocked by an earthquake of this size. you should know that hates i it country roughly it is size of
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maryland. i'll be having hundreds of tweets about hates i at this hour. and i've composed a twitser on my page to follow this story. here's an example of some of thes tweetses i'll be following. take a look at this one. i'll be rights back.
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i'm rick sanchez. 40 to 45,000 americans are living in haiti. in fact, the u.s. occupied haiti from 1915 to 1934. our troops were sent in by president woodrow wilson. as i give you that factoid, let me give you something else. the big news today seems to be coming out of the airport in port-au-prince which has been closed because of this -- because of this earthquake. chris lawrence is standing by
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now to bring us up-to-date on what's going on now. chris, this is one of the first times today that we get a chance to get to this airport, to get information. so let us know what you know about when this thing's going to be open. >> reporter: well, rick, i think the most important thing i can tell you right now is that we have not seen any relief flights coming in for the past few hours, and i just want to show you some live pictures right now of the scene right here. i mean, you can take a look over here. you can see a lot of people just sleeping on the ground, laying on the ground. most of these people just have nowhere to go and as we take the camera back over here, i just want to show you and give you a sense of just how many people are here. you know, you can take a look. we're only able to show you this one area, but all of these people have been out here pretty much all day simply impossible for them to get out of port-au-prince right now. some of them live here in haiti, trying to get out and others
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live in other countries in the caribbean and there are many americans as well. you see some of the folks in these orange shirtses, a lot of them around. they were part of a big youth ministry that was here and clark, you're from port meyers, incredible story of what happened when the earthquake hit and the children that you were trying to save. >> well, we was in a two-story building with a lot of the children on the first floor when i was up in the second floor and it started trembling terrible probably for 60 to 90 seconds. everything was flying everywhere and we ran downstairs and we started grabbing kids, four or five of them at a time and just throwing them to the door. all of the houses around us totally collapsed and not one was left standing, but the one that we're in and it's still standing and every one of us are alive and nobody's hurt. so if anybody knows my kids in fort meyers, tell them i'm alive and mom's alive and jacob fester from tampa, he's alive.
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we're all well, and the kids are all well. not one of them were hurt and not even a scratch. >> your story is repeated by so many people. no cell service. no word to get word to their families. families all over the united states just worried sick about people like you who are down here. >> we're just trying to get out of here and we'll get home as quick as we can, that might be two days, three days, who knows? >> all right, rick, giving you some sense of what's out here, just tremendous amount of damage in this city and a tremendous amount of frustration here as people have nothing else to do but just to lay here on the street in the ground and wait for some word about when they might be able to get out. >> good stuff, chris. there are a lot of folks here in the united states who have, as you mentioned, family members, relatives or friends there. they need that information. i'm glad that you were able to provide it for us. chris lawrence, one of a team of reporters who have arrived there in haiti and will be following
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the story throughout. there's a big part of this story that is actually taking place in the united states. specifically, in south florida. there are some 350,000 haitians living in south florida for, governor charlie crist, this is one very busy day. there you see him. i have been monitoring his comings and goings throughout the day as he meets with community leaders and tries to take care of the problems that are coming about. it's been a sleepless night for him and for his aides. he will join us in just a little bit. stay there. big deal, pe 5uade him. is it wise to allow a perishable item to spoil? he asked, why leave a room empty? the additional revenue easily covers operating costs. 65 dollars is better than no dollars. okay. $65 for tonight. you can't argue with a big deal.
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being from south florida, i know just how deep this hurt is for the people there.
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350,000 haitians, as i mentioned earlier, living in the united states. many of them living in south florida and that makes it the governor of florida's job to come to the aid of so many of these people. having lived there so long i can only imagine what's going on in florida. he is being joined by yoly robertson, she was born in haiti. my condolences and my thanks to both of you for being with us. governor issue let me start with you. what have you been able to do for some of the people in south florida who are leaning on you so much right now. >> well, first and foremost, to provide some hope for an awful lot of people who have family members just like yoly does over in haiti. one thing we did this morning was go from tallahassee to miami and we went to the emergency operation center with the mayor, carlos alvarez explaining to people that we have an awful lot of resources available to florida that usually we would utilize for hurricanes. thank god the past three years
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we haven't had them, but we've got about 65,000 mres or meals ready to eat. we've got a lot of water that we can supply to the island if necessary, cots, blankets and things of that nature and just to let our friends at the federal level that florida is here to help our neighbor nation. >> i remember, you know, as being a cop beat reporter, you and i have talked about several of these issues, some of the best police unit, some of the best canine units and relief teams are located in south florida. any chance you might be able to let the haitian government borrow them for the next week or so? >> that's a great point and you're absolutely right. we have two rescue units that have been federalized meaning they'll be deploying this afternoon to the island to be helpful with the dogs that they have and their great skill and talent to be able to try to rescue people that may still be, you know, under some of the structures that have fallen on haiti. >> yoly, how hard is this for you?
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>> rick, it is very, very hard because don't forget i left haiti when i was very young, but my heart is still there, and seeing those people there it could have been very easily me sitting there. it is just like my family is still hurting and i just thank god for governor crist who mobilized the entire state of florida all night last night. he worked with his staff, with dave hal stead, the emergency manage the director and many, many different people in the state of florida to make sure that florida stands ready to help the people of haiti. >> let me show you something, if you could, robert, get a shot of that twitter board, if you can over here. i do something called rick's list where i list people who are relevant to any specific story. today we're collecting people who are through, who know haiti or have associations with the haitian government. this person leecohen says just got back from haiti last night.
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so frustrated and not knowing if my friends back there are okay. what is going on? all circuits are busy. what do you say to people in the united states who somehow want to help or want to communicate with loved ones and can't? >> well, there's a way to do that. the best way right now, frankly, is to be able to donate money through a fund that we have set up in florida, florida disaster recovery.org is a website people can go to to utilize in order to help people out. in terms of finding out and getting better communication, yoly was telling me earlier that being able to text was the best way to get through. you might want to elaborate on that. >> thank you, governor. the way they're trying to communicate with loved ones here in florida or the nation is through social networking and especially texting. i just texted my cousin who is in haiti, just letting him know that i'm praying for him and also he was able to text us to let us know that his wife was hurt, but he himself is fine.
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>> any chance that you guys will be able to somehow within the next couple of days compile a master list that people can check of people who have survived and as a caveat to that, let me also ask governor, we've gotten reports here at cnn that there may be hundreds of thousands of people dead. what can you say about that? >> well, it's astounding, number one, and it's just one of the saddest scenarios you can imagine. i mean, to have that happen right here so close to our state of florida with so many loved ones that live in the state, you indicated earlier, rick, coming on this story that close to 400,000 floridians are haitian-american, and so it's a very desperate time and it's a very sad time. so we're trying to do everything we can to marshall our resources, to provide hope, to reach out to people like members of yoly's family to do everything we can to provide the comfort that is so important at the outset. >> but no -- but no master list
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that you have been able to put together right now. >> no, sir. >> still too early. >> as far as the numbers of hundreds of thousands of people may be losing their lives in this thing. yoly, what have you heard? we got that information from the prime minister, but we haven't been able to independently confirm it. what do you know? >> we have not been able to confirm it here either. rick, it is very difficult to aer is thain how many people died because we have not had real senses in haiti. port-au-prince comes with 250,000 people. we have well over 3 million people living in hail i and they're not accounted for. so we don't really know. >> my thanks to both of you. yoman's work. i'm sure the people there appreciate your efforts, yoly, ditto. we'll keep in touch with you all and we'll help in any way we can as well at cnn. >> thank you, rick. >> our pleasure. there's one american city
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that feels like home away from home for haitians, it is miami. it is the place where i grew up. it is where many of my best friends and neighbors are haitian. we mentioned this moments ago. it's a staggering number, almost 400,000 haitians living in the united states. most of them there in south florida. these are the scenes coming from south florida today as members of the haitian community, a very devout people are joining hands in churches praying for their friends and family upon. we'll be right back.
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i mentioned to you the very first interview the president of haiti did was with "the miami herald." i quoted him earlier as i was reading my hometown newspaper. he said i've been working over dead bodies and hearing cries of trapped victims. my country is destroyed. the parliament is collapsed. schools have collapsed and so have hospitals and that's the president of haiti who gave that information to "the miami herald." throughout the day we've been trying to make contact with the
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haitian president renee preval, my colleague sanjay gupta has just arrived in haiti within the last couple of hours, and i understand he's just done an interview with the haitian president. here it is. >> what are you doing here at the airport? >> my palace collapsed. >> so you don't have a home? >> i came here to run, but they told me i cannot run here because it is not safe. so i'm going home. >> you're going to go back to your home. >> are you able to live in the palace or is it completely destroyed? >> i cannot live in the palace. i cannot live in my own house because the two collapsed. >> where are you going to go tonight? >> i don't know. >> it is striking the president of this country doesn't know where he's going to sleep
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tonight. >> no. i -- i have plenty of time to look for a bed, but now i am working how to rescue the people. sleeping is not a problem. >> what have you seen with your own eyes? how bad a situation is it? it's incredible. you have to see it to believe it. a lot of houses destroyed, hospitals, schools, personal homes. a lot of people in the street dead. >> you've seen this with your own eyes? >> the earthquake took place
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yesterday at 5:00, and i'm still -- >> in the same clothes. >> looking for -- to understand the magnitude of the event. and how to manage it. >> what is the worst thing -- what is the worst thing that you saw so far? >> people in the street for two days now without the capacity to bring them to the hospital. >> i'm so sorry to hear that, mr. president. what do you need? what does haiti need right now from the rest of the world? >> for the earthquake, we have to first clean up the street. a lot of people they left their cars in the street. they are afraid when the earthquake occurred, and there's
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a lot of garbage. cement in the street. so we have to clean up the street so the -- the -- the -- >> the rescue workers? >> the rescue workers, they can work. >> that's priority number one. >> number two, when the docto doctors -- we need medicine, we need medical help in general. some of the hospitals, they collapsed. the hospitals, they are full and they put people in the -- outside the hospital.
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so we need some hospitals, some medicine and some doctors. >> how many people do you think have died? >> i don't know. >> do you have any idea at all? >> what have you been told by your staff? >> up to now i heard 50,000 -- >> 50,000? so far? >> i heard 30,000. i saw in the cnn 100,000 casualti casualties. let's say that it's too early to
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give a number. >> how dangerous is it right now? how dangerous is it in port-au-prince? >> there are risks that the house continue to collapse. there are risk of epidemic. >> epidemics. >> epidemics. how about violence in from people who are desperate who want food, who want water. are you worried about violence breaking out in port-au-prince? >> no. the people, they understand the situation. and they see that everybody is doing the best to help them, so i don't think we will have violence.
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>> is there a message right now that you want to give to the rest of the world as president of haiti, what do you want to say to the rest of the world? >> i want to thank -- i want to thank all the countries that started to help us. the united states, france, canada, cuba, venezuela, argentina, dominican republic, israel. >> do you have any idea how much it will cost to rebuild haiti? >> i don't know. >> mr. president, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> good luck. >> there you have it. the first broadcast interview with the president of haiti. remarkable job under those conditions by dr. sanjay gupta to get to the scene and get an interview with the president
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preval for the very first time. interesting, a country that i've gotten to know only too well as a journalist throughout my career, a country that has gone through rebellions, revolutions, wars, hurricanes, tornadoes and now this earthquake, and to hear the president at the outset of that interview tell sanjay gupta, i have no place to sleep tonight. the president of haiti has no place to sleep tonight is certainly as telling as anything we've heard thus far in this story. by the way, one another footnote i need to mention to you as we move forward. we here at cnn, let me be clear about this. we at cnn the conversation the president was saying with sanjay. we at cnn have not independently confirmed how many people have died as a result of this earthquake. what we did was we filed a report earlier in the day where there was the possibility of hundreds of thousands. that was not president preval who said that, rather it was the prime minister who had made that comment and we reported it.
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at this point, neither we nor most rescue officials on the scene are not saying exactly how many people have died. you just heard the president there mention maybe 30,000, maybe 50,000, but to be honest with you from covering these types of events it is really much too early to tell. keep in mind, this quake was a 7.0, in an average year around the globe there are 17 earthquakes between a 7 and 7.9. that tells you just how big this thing was. as we go to break, i want you to look at rick's list. we're getting comments from all the folks who we can get information from, who are relevant to this story. senator kristin gillbrand. my hope is that the white house will grant temporary protected status to haitians who fled the u.s. due to past violence and disasters in haiti. we'll be right back.
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>> i understand the u.s. coast guard has just concluded a briefing and we'll be able to talk to republican u.s. senator who was in that briefing, but before we do that, we also have some coast guard video that we've been examining that's been coming in to us. i want to share that one. this is nat 2, rog, if you've got it. here it is. all right. we've got this video. i'm going to hang tight here because i want you to see this. whenever we get a chance to look at some new video that comes in from haiti, i want to be able to show it to you. this one was described to us as an interview originally with the prime minister and also some video that involved the u.s. coast guard. we called it nat-2 if you guys remember. do we have it now or do you want me to go to george lemieux? let me know what you have that, by the way. republican senator george lemieux was good enough to join us now. i understand you just got out of a briefing, sir.
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first of all, thanks for being with us. my condolences to many of your constituents, and what have you learned? >> well, rick, we've learned that the effort is on to bring supplies, needed supplies and recovery efforts to the people of haiti. we have two coast guard cutters now that are off of port-au-prince. the forward and the mohawk. the forward is providing the air traffic control to all of the planes that are trying to fly in to haiti because the tower at airport's been compromised and we have two other coast guard cutters that are staging now, one at guantanamo and they're going to bring supplies in tomorrow. the navy, i talked to general frazier at south command here, southcom, and the navy is preparing to bring in ships tomorrow, and we're going to try to get our first responders in even here from miami-dade county search and rescue because as we know and your pictures are
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showing there are a lot of collapsed buildings. we're getting stories of collapsed school, collapsed hotels and collapsed office buildings and we know there are people underneath those buildings >> senator, as you know, if you are right and woo we believe you are, and there are many, possibly countless people, still trapped underneath that rubble, it really is a race against time. how soon can you get some of the k-9 teams and some of the rescue units there and are you making that the priority right now above anything else, can you say that? >> well, that's what my priority is and i've been stressing to the military, the coast guard and all that i speak to about getting those first responders in. you're exactly right. time is against us. an earthquake is terrible. the timing of this earthquake is even worse, it was right before night fell. we're approaching 24 hours since the earthquake. we have one team as i understand it, a search and rescue team from virginia that should get there today, and then we're hoping to let miami go in. we need them to get cleared from
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the state department to go and i've called the state department to do that. we need these first responders and these folks are world renowned here in the united states and america, and they've gone all over the world to help in these situations. we've got to get them in there and save the lives of the people who are trapped under the rubble. >> senator, good stuff. my thanks to you, sir, for joining us, and again, as i said to the governor just a short time ago when i spoke to him. if there's anything we at cnn can do to help out, we can certainly do so. my thanks again, sir. >> thank you so much, rick. someone else who has a south florida legacy is emilio estefan. he is one of the most powerful voices in south florida. he's reached out to us and he'll be joining me to talk as well about the situation in south florida, the crisis in haiti and frost michael from the group fujes, he's from haiti and we'll see what he and the music industry friends are doing to help haiti as our special
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coverage of this breaking news story, "disaster in haiti" continues.
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as you know, i use my twitter list to get relevant information to share with you. news, really, that's what this is. listen to what the red cross just tweeted, and i want to share it with you right away. deploying six disaster management specialists to haiti to help coordinate relief. these join the staff of 15 we already have on the ground there. again, that is from the american red cross, just tweeted several minutes ago. our thanks to them. meanwhile, the very latest on this earthquake that has really just devastated haiti.
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haiti's prime minister is telling cnn that the quake that hit the haitian capital may have left hundreds of thousands of people dead, but we spoke with the president just a short time ago who said his number is closer to 50,000. we will continue to try and nail that one down for you. there is no way at all to confirm, by the way, the prime minister's estimate nor the president's estimate at this point, and as you may have heard right here, the president has been speaking to our correspondents including sanjay gupta, and we are going to continue to follow that, in any case, as we continue to follow the story it continues to be a disaster of historic magnitude. huge swathes of port-au-prince lay in ruins right now. phone service is out and electricity out. supplies of fresh water are running low. president obama is pledging support, no dollar figure yet and he's asking private citizens to do their part. by the way, the most important part of this story as i just discussed moments ago with
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senator lemieux is literally, there are people right now who are trapped under tons of debris. they are screaming for help and no one can get to them. that is the priority in this story at this point, and that is why we're drilling down on that and asking many of florida's leaders and u.s. representatives how soon before they can get search and rescue teams down there to help out. also this. emilio estefan is an activist and one of miami's most important voices, so, of course, is his wife gloria estefan. emilio will join me live in just a moment on this and after a plethora of questionable leaders like papa doc, and general sedras, jean bertrand was elected in the first free election. that was the leader in the race, that was, believe it or not, almost 20 years ago.
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one of the best known haitian-americans in the united states is part of the entertainment world. his name is wyclef jean. you may have heard of him. we got a world. he's one of the people that we're following on one of my twitter lists. there you see what he says. he says i'm on my weigh to the d.r. to get into haiti. please urge you council men, governors, et cetera, we need a state of emergency for haiti. why clef johns, one of the best known entertainers. a colleague of his is praz michelle, he's also good enough to join us, to let es know what he's hearing both by the country and those trying to help inside the country. let me first of all, say, my condolences to you, your friends and family. thank you for helping us. >> thank you very much, rick.
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>> what are you hearing. >> well, basically i heard from a close friend of mine this morning. she basically said the capital is flattened. the hospital has been destroyed. what he can do is help my constituent w constituento test 501501, and $5 will automatically go to donation. >> i remember port-au-prince as magnificently vie brandt city, obviously filled with signs of poverty throughout, but it still had been able to keep some of its history. roger, if you can, put up some of the pictures we've getting. i can't help but imagine what it's like to be from a country that's sustained something so dramatic, where a third of its population is affected by one disaster. imagine that happening here in
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the united states, one third of the people affected by this thing. what are your thoughts as you look at these pictures? >> well, my thoughts is basically i think that the government of haiti should be held accountable, because all these year they haven't done much with the aid in building the infrastructure. i want to thank president obama for quickly acting for this tragedy that's happened down in haiti. i also spoke to a colleague of mine from his administration, jason mccall, and they're acting very quickly about this. now it's time to hold the government accountable. >> when you say the government, going back to papa doc, and baby doc, are you talking about the general or president ar. stide, or the present president preval. >> i think it's a chain. papa doc, one may argue, was
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actually good for haiti. at that time, they went to the world cup, there was peace, some form of prosperity. he still was a dictator, and then his son came in, baby doc, it was horrible, but then aristide came in and he did nothing for the country. preval has been there for about four, five years, and hasn't done much either. we need to stop that, we need some transparency, we need accountability, and i think unfortunately this is going to help to hold these government officials accountable, like wy clef said, these should not be happening. every haitian lives on $2 a day. that's unacceptable. >> pras michel, with some harsh reaction, as well as a fundamental situation. my thanks, sir, for talking to us. when i come back, emilioest fan on the situation going on in
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haiti, something that's heartfelt for him, being a resident of south florida, where many of his neighbors are haitian-americans. we will be right back with emilioest fan. @@@@@@@@@
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a successful immigrant in the united states, wanting to share his personal experiences, but sadly enough, today this situation is taking place in haiti. anything that happens in hatist, just like anything that happens in cuba, affects south florida. emilio, first of all, thanks for being with us. let me ask you your thoughts. >> thank you very much, rick. of course, all the people in south florida were so devastated and pained with everything that's happening. it's a sad day not only for hati, but for the world. they lost so many lives.
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this morning me and gloria made a donation, and definitely as soon as i get back to miami, we'll be able to do a lot of things to be sure that, you know, we help and help in the right directions, things to help. i think the worst is to come. the first day people are in panic, and now the second, third and fourth days, when the hole chaos will be happening in haiti. >> i remember after hurricanes andrew in south florida, you and gloria got together and probably did as much as anyone had done in that community not only with your musk, and of course your moan, donations, your time do you seeing this this as something analogous that that we went through in south florida? do you see this as analogous. >> it's something so different. at least we live in the united states, but when you live in haiti, where it's so difficult,
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with so many poor people. they've been through three hurricanes last year. when i saw the images last night, i hardly could sleep. i think how do we help? my first thing is how do you help the country? we're so close to a lot of haitian people in miami that we love and they're doing such hard work in miami, so i think it's time that people realize that, you know, even we go through tough times, we need to share and be able to help. i know i'm here in new york now, trying to find ways to go there. they're going to need a lot of help, from water to food to doctors, and every time you see images now, you definitely feel so sad. we're blessed to live in a country where we can share. i heard the many with the decisions right away, you know, to help, and, you know this country is unbelievable. >> let me say this, the united states is an incredible country, for people like you and me who weren't born here, who are
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immigrants, who came to the united states, here's a quote from your book "if i wanted to do something -- today you are as wildly successful as anybody who's ever done what you did. what's the real message here? you know, we're talking today about haitian americans in the united states who are suffering. as immigrants, i know from time to time we all suffer, but what's the peng here you want to get out with this book? >> you know, the message is even if you are an immigrant, this is one of the best generous countries in the whole world. i know when things like this happen, this country helps any other countries around the world. haiti is definitely a country they'll need so much help, because they are so poor, and they are in so much need. i know theil